Fantasy film Solomon Kane boasts wide appeal Kiwi film is rotten Luck

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Fantasy film Solomon Kane boasts wide appeal Kiwi film is rotten Luck Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ALWATAN DAILY
         CULTURE                                                                                                                                                                                                THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009


Fantasy film Solomon                                                                                                                       Kiwi film is rotten Luck
Kane boasts wide appeal
                      TORONTO: Though its grasp of English history           doesn’t clean up his act he’s going straight to hell. He
                  may be a bit fanciful, Solomon Kane is a powerful,         becomes a penitent wanderer, and attaches himself to
                  high-spirited romp - with equally high production val- -   a lovely family on its perilous way across lawless Eng-   -
                  ues - through the realms of the increasingly popular       land to emigrate to the New World, whose daughter is
                  fantasy genre.                                             played by the even lovelier Rachel Hurd-Wood.
                      Basing his hero on a character dreamed up during            Very bad things happen to this very nice family and
                  the Great Depression by Conan the Barbarian creator        from this point onward, the plot takes on the formulaic,
                  Robert E. Howard, writer-director Michael J. Bassett       but always effective, trajectory of a man who has fore-   -
                  has given us a solid entertainment that will enthrall      sworn violence but who, pushed to the breaking point,
                  young and old alike.                                       ends up wreaking a mountain of audience-satisfying
                      James Purefoy, who shone in HBO’s pedestrian           havoc on his adversaries.
                  togafest Rome, reincarnates the improbably named                The film is ostensibly set in 1600, when, after all,
                  Kane in a thoroughly convincing fashion. When the          the powers of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare were
                  film opens, Kane is a pillager of legendary proportions,   at their highest point, but Bassett has chosen to rep-    -                                                                                                                                FILE - A grab
                  but realizes after an extra-traumatic battle that if he    resent the period, in terms of its belief in witchcraft                                                                                                                                    shot from
                                                                             and its general nastiness, as though it took place 800                                                                                                                                     the movie
                                                                             years earlier, during the Dark Ages. (In any case, it can                                                                                                                                  The Vintner’s
                                                                             be safely assumed that the vast majority of this film’s                                                                                                                                    Luck.
                                                                             target audience will never notice this problem of chro-   -
                                                                             nology.)                                                          TORONTO: It’s difficult to believe        logue meaningfully tossed off through the        happens, most of it melodramatic (breast
                                                                                  The costumes and production design are top-notch         that the same director who made the sim-  -   overlong running time, however, we grad-   -     cancer, tuberculosis - replete with stan-    -
                                                                             and powerfully evocative, and the many gruesome bat-      -   ple and affecting Whale Rider in 2002 and     ually piece together that we’re in early         dard-issue cough-induced blood - and a
                                                                             tle scenes are staged with a fluid gusto that will provoke    the underrated North Country in 2005,         19th century France.                             third disease that takes Sobran’s beloved
                                                                             hurrahs among aficionados.                                    is responsible for The Vintner’s Luck, an         Sobran Jodeau (Jeremie Renier, a reg-  -     daughter away; storms and disease that
                                                                                  Acting as intriguing ballast is a complex religious      overblown work of amazing silliness.          ular in the films of the Dardenne broth-   -     wreck the crop; and so on).
                                                                             subtext, about sin and redemption, a belief system that           A melodrama wrapped in a histori-     -   ers) is a peasant with dreams of producing           Despite all the many turns of events,
                                                                             is the product of an era still on the outlook for the Devil   cal costume drama, whose plot revolves        the best wine in the world. Toward that          however, the film seems plodding and
                                                                             and his ever-busy coven of witches. Audience members          around the regular appearance of an an-   -   end he makes a pact with a very beautiful        slow. The angel finally confesses that he is
                                                                             who want something more than gore will be fascinated          gel - replete with gigantic flapping wings    angel who babbles cliches about terror,          also a devil, since all of life is composed
                                                                             by the arcane cabalistic symbols written on the bodies                                                  -
                                                                                                                                           - this film stands little chance of commer-   without using the word. According to his         of opposites. When Sobran wrestles with
                                                                             of Solomon and others and by the many other manifes-      -   cial release in any territory beyond its      teachings, which Sobran eagerly drinks           the angel (a la Jacob in the Bible), the film
                                                                             tations this primitive Christianity takes.                    own native New Zealand. Given the cur-    -   in, you can taste the vintner’s emotional        reaches a level of ridiculousness, though
                                                                                  Bassett is very good with the discreet use of power- -   rent, though waning craze for all things      state and even his thoughts in the wine          even that level is surpassed when the
                                                                             ful visual images (bird masks, crucifixions), though he’s     angelic, however, it may make back some       he produces. One impromptu wine tast-      -     angel’s wings are surgically removed so
                                                                             perhaps a little too partial to rain, which drenches ev-  -   of its obviously costly budget on televi- -   ing with the angel results in the verdict        that he can become human. Not helping
                                                                             erything and everybody in the movie. It’s not a pictur-   -   sion sales.                                   that “the wine tastes of sorrow, regret,         things is that this aspect of the story is
                                                                             esque sort of rain, but rather the sort that only deepens         The storytelling is so confused here      and guilt.”                                      so incredibly murky that it defies under-    -
                                                                             misery and sometimes threatens to make the audience           that for the longest time we have no idea         In the meantime, Sobran marries and          standing, let alone summary. It’s a shame
                                                                             miserable as well.                                            what century nor what country the film        has a passel of kids. The lord of the manor      that the storytelling is such a shambles,
                                                                                  At the very end of the film, Bassett goes over the       takes place in, especially given the fact     dies, and his lovely heir Aurora arrives         because the production values in evidence
                                                                             top with the completely unnecessary introduction of a         that half of the actors have a French ac- -   on the scene, and moved by his passion           are high, though the constantly fidgeting
                                                                             final monster that seems like a cross between Godzilla        cent and the other half a British one. (Ah,   for wine-making (and his good looks),            camera is annoying and out of place in a
                                                                             and King Kong, as though he wasn’t completely con-        -   the perils of co-production!)                 she convinces Sobran to go into business         film set two hundred years ago. The novel
                                                                             vinced of the power of his material and his rendition of          The main character goes off to war,       with her. Sobran meets the angel on the          upon which the film is based could very
                                                                             it. But he needn’t have worried, and in the context of        where he almost freezes to death, but we      same day every year through the course           well be a masterpiece, but angels, alas, are
                                                                             a rousing entertainment such as “Solomon Kane,” this          have no idea whom he is fighting for or       of his life for a quick round-up of the past     a lot more convincing as words than as
                    FILE - Movie poster of the movie Solomon Kane            small fault may be safely overlooked. -Reuters                against. Thanks to various scraps of dia- -   and advice about the future. Lots of stuff       characters in a movie. -Reuters

The new black at NY Fashion Week? Black, of course                                                                                                                                       Law paved way for Richard
                      NEW YORK: Fashion for spring is back in
                      Black never went anywhere, of course - it’s
                                                                                                                                                                                         North Patterson’s writing
                  a perennial favorite with the crowd at New York
                  Fashion Week. But for spring collections, the                                                                                                                               SYDNEY: As a trial lawyer, Richard        a complicated situation into a narra-    -
                  look wasn’t terribly sunny.                                                                                                                                            North Patterson had to find simple ways        tive. You have to understand your client
                      The nod to the spring/summer season was to                                                                                                                         to explain complex issues, understand          and translate him or her to a jury and a
                  offset the black with white and shades of nude,                                                                                                                        the psychology of jurors and judges,           judge. You have to understand the jury
                  blush and stone, all part of the overall muted                                                                                                                         and tell a story. All perfect training for     and the judge and that is the psycho-    -
                  look that has dominated at Mercedes-Benz                                                                                                                               becoming a novelist, he says.                  logical part. You also do a lot of writing
                  Fashion Week.                                                                                                                                                               Patterson was an assistant attorney       for a very tired and cynical audience.”
                      Yet the black wasn’t severe, especially ren-                                                                                                                       general for the state of Ohio, partner
                  dered in featherweight fabrics in sheer organza,                                                                                                                       in several law firms, as well as the U.S.       Is there a kind of association of
                  tulle and black lace. A wave of black swept the                                                                                                                        Security and Exchange Commission’s                  lawyers-turned-authors?
                  runways of Rodarte, Vera Wang, Badgley Misch-  -                                                                                                                       liaison to the Watergate special pros-   -         Patterson: “No, but both Scott
                  ka and Jill Stuart on Tuesday. It was even at a                                                                                                                        ecutor.                                        Turow and Linda Fairstein are good
                  tongue-in-cheek fashion show for the Snuggie                                                                                                                                But he finally tried writing aged         friends. We have met each other and
                  - the blanket with sleeves.                                                                                                                                            29 and his corporate crime thriller The        discovered we have things in common
                      “You’ve heard what the new black is? It’s                                                                                                                          Lasko Tangent won him the Edgar Al-      -     besides books.”
                  black,” joked host Ross Matthews, Ross the In- -                                                                                                                       lan Poe Award for the best 1980 debut
                  tern from Jay Leno’s “Tonight” show.                                                                                                                                   novel and a new career was born, lead-   -     Is it harder to come up with story
                                                                                                                                                                                         ing to novels such as No Safe Place and          lines now that you’ve left law?
                                     Rodarte                                                                                                                                             Dark Lady.                                         Patterson: “No. There is always
                       The ravens rose at Rodarte. With a smoke-                                                                                                                              Patterson joined a band of lawyers        something in the world that interests
                  filled runway beneath them, models wore outfits                                                                                                                        like John Grisham, Scott Turow and             you. I do a lot of research for my books.
                  resembling the contradictory symbol of dark-   -                                                                                                                       Linda Fairstein, who have all moved            I went to Israel and Palestine for “Ex- -
                  ness and survival.                                                                                                                                                     on to carve out successful careers as          ile” and interviewed everyone from
                       Even with tiny asphalt pebbles on the          Models present creations from the Max Azria Spring 2010 collection during New York Fashion                         writers.                                       wanted terrorist to the president. I have
                  ground, haunting music and the smoke, all the       Week. (AP)                                                                                                              Patterson, 62, who retired from           a new novel coming out called “Honor”
                  drama really came from the clothes. Every gar- -                                                                                                                       law in 1993 to write full-time, has just       which is about a court martial. It deals
                  ment seemed a cobweb of leather, yarn, rib-    -    Schwartzman.                                                Unfortunately Poiret also championed the               released his 17th book, The Spire, in          with human psychology and the rela-     -
                  bons, lace and cheesecloth. Some of the pieces         When stripped down without all the effect,          harem pant; Wang translated that for modern                 which he returns to a psychological sus- -     tionships between military families and
                  were adorned with crystals, feathers and leather    some of the major trends of Fashion Week where         times in a droopy jumpsuit.                                 pense novel after a decade of writing          the effect of the Iraq War on soldiers.
                  made to look like birdskin.                         here: draping, banding and lattice-like leather,            She mostly went for sultry instead of overtly          politically charged fiction.                   For that I spoke to Iraq veterans, people
                       “They’re incredibly inspiring, and their       among them.                                            sexy with layers of smoky-colored tulle, sheer                                                             involved in complicated court martials
                  clothes are always inspiring,” said Kirsten                                                                black organza and artful, not flashy, embel-     -                    Did you always                       and psychologists who treat soldiers. I
                  Dunst, wearing a glittery bronze Rodarte dress                     Badgley Mischka                         lished jewel details. Metallic pieces were a bit                  have ambitions to write?                 did everything I could to make the set- -
                  from an earlier season and sitting in the front         Badgley Mischka, long associated with              stiff, standing away from the body, while the                   Patterson: “Not really. I always           ting as real as possible.”
                  row with the likes of Elijah Wood and Jason         the socialite party-gown set, has made a clean         bike shorts underneath the see-through styles               thought writing was done by other
                                                                      break. Thank goodness.                                 hugged it.                                                  people with a talent for it and I had                      How do you
                                                                          The highly embellished, glitzy gowns that                                                                      never really tried it. But after my ex- -             approach your writing?
                                                                      made them famous wouldn’t seem right for the                              Max Azria                                perience with the Watergate prosecutor              Patterson: “I am very disciplined.
                                                                      times, even if we may or may not be out of the             There weren’t a lot of bells and whistles in            I thought I had a story to tell and I sat      I sit down about 7 a.m. every day and
                                                                      recession. So the design duo of Mark Badgley           the spring Max Azria collection that debuted                down to write. After 13 rejections and 3       write all morning and revisit that all
                                                                      and James Mischka have found themselves a              Tuesday at New York Fashion Week. It was most-   -          re-writes I was published and I won an         afternoon, five days a week, until it is
                                                                      new niche, showing some lovely, more sophisti- -       ly pared-down, pretty dresses in simple and chic            Edgar Allan Poe award.”                                                                 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        finished. A lot of life is just about get-
                                                                      cated clothes - ranging from a black-and-white         shades of black, gray, white and nude.                                                                     ting up every day and showing up and
                                                                      tweed sheath dress to a black shantung jumpsuit            A hint of rebel edge came from metal-chain               How did you find time to write                so every day, I show up.”
                                                                      that had a gathered halter neckline as well as a       “cage” dresses worn over silk sweater dresses.              while working fulltime as a lawyer
                                                                      gathered waist and palazzo-pant legs.                  They sound more severe than they really were;                      and with a family?                                 Do you have
                                                                          A strong day-to-night look was a lilac and         they really just added shimmer and a little sex                  Patterson: “Any time that I had lei-  -      much feedback from readers?
                                                                      gray-striped, satin and chiffon dress, and for a       appeal.                                                     sure time I would remind myself that                                                   -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Patterson: “Well, I don’t see the In-
                                                                      black-tie event, there was a white shantung                Slashes in sleeves, bodices and backs also              I wanted to accomplish something.              ternet. I write my books in long hand
                                                                      tuxedo. A white capri-length jumpsuit wasn’t as        flashed a little skin - and continued a trend seen          Before long I realized that I was that         and fax them to my assistant and she
                                                                      tempting.                                              on many other runways at Mercedes-Benz Fash-     -          thing called a novelist. I was among           types them up and sends them back.
                                                                          Still feel like you saw shine on the runway?       ion Week.                                                   those people who I had always thought          The advantage of being a troglodyte is
                                                                      That was all baubles from their own costume                                                                        were different from me and I learnt in         that I don’t have the levels of distrac--
                                                                      jewelry collection.                                                   Betsey Johnson                               the process that I had talent but also the     tion that people have when they have
                                                                                                                                 Designer Betsey Johnson’s signature item                commitment and diligence that it took.         emails hanging over their head. For my
                                                                                        Vera Wang                            is the party dress, so on Thursday evening she              That is a large part of it. A lot of people    business it can be a good thing. I can
                                                                          No wonder Vera Wang has moved her show             threw herself a party at the Plaza Hotel.                   don’t have the discipline to take it fur-  -   write emails or I can write novels.”
                                                                      away from the frenzy at the Bryant Park tents              There was no runway for her spring collec-    -         ther. It is one thing to have a story to
A model                                                               - that atmosphere wouldn’t do the elegance of          tion, just pretty young things wearing upbeat,              tell but it is another - and it is hard work     Any advice to aspiring writers?
presents a                                                            her spring collection justice.                         youthful clothes while dancing and singing to               - to actually tell it.”                            Patterson: “First of all make a com-   -
creation from                                                             In her stark white SoHo store, Wang pre-  -        Blondie cover songs by the live band Ida Marie.                                                            mitment to do it regularly on a schedule
the Badgley                                                           sented sophisticated styles that she said were             The models, up on a stage, were just a back-  -                   Did your legal                       that does not ruin the rest of your life. If
Mischka Spring                                                        influenced by the late Paul Poiret, who left an        drop to Johnson, who hammed it up for cameras.                  experience help you write?                 you write 5 polished pages a week you
2010 collection                                                       indelible stamp on fashion in the early 20th           Oh yeah, they were wearing strapless dresses in                 Patterson: “Absolutely. I was a trial      have about 250 at the end of the year.
during New York                                                       century. He gave women the freedom to wear             candy colors, a black sequin cocktail frock with            lawyer and there are several things a          Also find a reader, someone you trust to
Fashion Week.                                                         looser chemise shapes, and Wang picked up on           a frilly skirt, a blue metallic skirt suit and some         trial lawyer has to do. You have to make       respond sensibly.” -AP
(Reuters)                                                             that: There wasn’t a corset style in sight.            lingerie-inspired styles. -AP